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tv   Harry Trumans Presidential Library  CSPAN  January 19, 2019 5:26pm-6:00pm EST

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about the stamp, you know. my heroes don't appear on those stamps. pictures on them now, but they still don't appear. aside from that, all i have left say is free melissa alexander. >> amen. [applause] >> thank you. be signing books. yes? >> yes. and you, i think. >> oh, yeah, and me. you. >> thank you. [applause] >> history bookshelf features knownuntry's best american history writers of the past decade, talking about their books. series watch our weekly
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every saturday at 4 p.m. eastern american history t.v. on c-span 3. the trumanide courthouse in independence, missouri, where c-span is learning about the city's history. it was here, as a presiding judge, that harry truman oversaw renovations of the courthouse. take you to the truman presidential library and museum to learn about his presidential career. ♪[music] >> in independence, missouri, truman library becomes a realities, fulfilling theng-cherished dream of ex-president. and chief -- mr. truman and chief justice warren both take the ritual. >> this library is not the library. archivist's building with the idea of keeping the the government in an
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orderly manner. it will take a little while to get that done. do get it done, this place will be the center of the study of the presidency of the united states. >> the truman library was second presidential library established and run by archives and records administration. but harry truman was the first president to actually use his linebacker to be an instrumental force in his library. here between five and six days a week, in his office here at the library. 1957 when the library opened until the mid-60's when his health started deteriorating. as you enter into the main part of the museum, one of the first is the famoussee buck stops here sign, that was truman and became what i call the icon object of the truman administration, because known so much for his decisive action and the fact believed very sincerely
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in taking responsibility for his own decisions. particular sign was of the elint shop atory ineral reform oklahoma. the warden sent this to truman. desk asaid, i have on my sign that says, the buck stops here. well, we believe he did have it on his desk. have never found a photograph of it on the oval office desk. find ail we actually photograph showing it on his desk in the oval office, we've displayedlayed it -- it out here. we're standing in a replica of it appearedice as in truman's representation. upon the president sudden death of franklin roosevelt. roosevelt, of course, had been president for 12 years. and many young people especially
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no other president. harry truman was suddenly thrust into the office. office here is actually depicted as it appeared in the 1950, just shortly after the korean war had started. exactly the way it was on that -- on a 1950.ular day in august many of the items around the of truman.ry typical the desk is cluttered with a lot given tots that were truman over the course. these are the items that happened to be on his desk on day in august 1950. the furniture in the room is all reproduction furniture, because the original furniture is still at the white house. items onmost of the the walls and on the tops of the ares and so forth originals. there are few exceptions. but one of the most interesting is the large globe in mantel. the fireplace
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in july of 1945, harry truman went to the potsdam conference. he stopped and visited general the supreme allied commander during world war ii. truman thiser gave globe that was one that eisenhower had used throughout the war. the irony about this is truman back, put itlobe in his oval office. and of course he was succeeded former general, now president dwight eisenhower. so truman left the globe in the office for eisenhower when he got there. thearry s. truman took momentous oath of office as president of the united states. with a world at war, he accepted gravest responsibility in world history. new commander in chief to lead victory.n to ultimate >> just an hour before he'd been summoned to the white house and notified that president died, and this
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photo behind me is a scene of sworn in as president. you can sort of see the shock on people's's -- on the faces. the bible you see in the photograph is also on display behind me. prepared to was not be sworn in as president. so they just searched around and found a bible in the usher's office at the white house and used it. truman subsequently used the be sworn in when he was re-elected in 1948. most americans really had no idea who harry truman was. franklin roosevelt had been longernt for 12 years, than any other president. a lot of people, he was the only president they had known. suddenly harry truman, who had only been vice president days is suddenly sworn in as president. >> the combined air might of the loosed uponns is nazi-occupied europe. >> the world was in turmoil with
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in europe and the specific. the war in europe was almost over. germany surrendered on may 7, 1945. next morning was harry truman's birthday. war in europe ended fairly quickly, but the war in wasn and the pacific continuing. there were fire bombing raids tokyo.n in more than 100,000 people were killed in a single fire bombing raid. all this, midst of truman also wanted to continue on some of franklin roosevelt's initiatives. one of the main ones being the founding of the united nations. in june of 1945, he went to signed theco and united nations charter. the first four months of probablypresidency are the most dramatic first four any president in american history. of course, in august 1945, the bomb had been perfected
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and the first bomb was dropped hiroshima. >> a short time ago, an american airplane dropped one bomb on hiroshima. with this bomb, we have now and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. >> people often ask if that was truman's most difficult decision and he always said, no, it wasn't. that hisly felt committing troops to korea at the beginning of the korean war decision.st difficult bomb was then dropped on nagasaki. onn finally japan surrenders august 14, 1945. so in the span of four months, truman had overseen the end of the wars in europe and japan. ♪[music]
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at the end of world war ii, the united states emerged as the thatcountry in the world had actually become more prosperous during the war. but the united states still had a problem. harry truman remembered from his war i experience, he came back and he set up a with his friend, jacobson, and that business went a depression after world war i. one of truman's goals at the end war was tond world try to have a rational, logical the militaryof economy back to a peace time economy. people had earned money during the war, but there was nothing to spend it on during the war. lot of pent-up-up part of consumers to spend money on the war to buy things. that, of course, would put extreme pressure on prices and prices would go up. so truman was trying to use the kind of balance
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all this out and make a smoother reconversion from a military time economy.eace now, even though truman was very unions, hetive of faced a real backlash from unions and workers after the war this.e of and so he had this habit of diaryg what we call entries. written onually just loose-leaf pieces of paper. but in this particular one, truman is venting his anger at andunions for opposing him his post-war economic policies. give theys, let's country back to the people. let's put transportation and work, hang ack to few traitors and make our own country safe for democracy. tell russia where to get off and make the united nations work. come on, boys. let's do the job. truman used the diary entries to
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vent his own frustrations. they were not made public during his lifetime. to it was a way for him actually get over his anger about many issues. hiswe see this throughout presidency. once the united states had gone reconversion from a military to a peacetime economy, consumer spending went way up. it was really the beginning of economic boon which lasted for a number of years. veryericans were becoming consumer-oriented. but the situation was much different in europe after the war. in europe, not only was there damage from world war ii still remaining, but a couple ofthrough the worst winters in record. and people were -- there were a were starvingwho in europe. but there was a lot of political unrest as well. so the fear became, in the united states, on the part of
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the truman administration, the fear became we have to do help europe out, help these countries of europe to, so that they don't fall the threat of political instability or communism. truman administration response to the challenges in europe really took two forms. became the policy of the government to support countries difficultiesing and that started with what we the truman doctrine. it was based on a speech that truman gave in 1947. we fumble in our leadership, we may endanger the peace of the world. we shall surely endanger the welfare of this nation. great responsibilities have been placed upon us by the swift events. of i am confident that the congress face these responsibilities squarely. isthe key line of the speech
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here. it says, i believe that it must be the policy of the united to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by minorities and outside pressures. the truman doctrine was $400 million worth of foreign aid, given primarily to turkey.nd the british have supported a lot of these countries before the war. pretty much bankrupt after world war ii. they said they would no longer provide financial aid. so truman stepped in with the truman doctrine to make it the states tothe united support some of these countries. and then that eventually led to truman's bigger foreign policy initiative, which was the martial plan, named after george marshall, who was the secretary at the time but, of course, had also been the leader forces duringy world war ii. >> the only solution that i see establish a firm front.
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a more effective it will be. efforts topaganda convey that this is an aggressive front, of course, are propaganda. >> the idea was that the united states would provide financial assistance but the european countries who agreed to join the marshall planning had to work themselves to decide how the money would be spent. it was primarily used on big infrastructure projects that helped rebuild the infrastructure of european nations. it's considered one of the most successful foreign policy initiatives in the history of the united states. this is a letter that harry wrote to his wife, beth. beth spent part of the year back here in independence. one of the real gems of our thanction is we have more 1300 of harry truman's letters to his wife, beth. he just doesn't talk about the weather.
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he talks about real issues happening. he's using her as a sounding board. did that through his whole life. he would run things past her. know, there's not much public -- beth did not like to be a public person. but we do know that he confided in her and he trusted her judgment. case, he'sticular talking about the marshall plan and he says, dear beth, mostrday was one of the hectic of days, as i've told you. i'm not sure what has been my worst day. but here is the situation, fraught with terrible consequences. and then he goes on to talk about, you know, what if we to thesee foreign aid countries? you know, we could devolve into another war, which would be very frightful. at the same time, in the late and hisen truman foreign policy advisors had put together things like the truman doctrine and the marshall plan, the tensions between the united soviet union weret
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growing much stronger. it was basically the beginning now know as the cold war. and truman's foreign policy advisories had worked through and recommended that the united states form a military alliance european countries. and so nato became formed in 1949. the first peacetime alliance that the united states had had. hot point of this was the whole issue of berlin. of world war ii, germany was divided. into zones of occupation. zone wasastern controlled by the soviet union. the united zones by states, great britain and france. germany,apital of berlin, was buried deep inside the soviet zone. when tensions between the united states and the soviet great, thee too
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soviet union blockaded berlin. the question for harry truman was, what do we do? berlin?linquish do we send in military forces, potentially starting world war iii? you know, what is our solution? that was to institute an air providing supplies into berlin from the air. and once this got started, it turned out to be quite successful. and it really expanded. at one point, on a daily about 594ost 600 -- planes each day flew supplies the cityin to keep going. air-liftwould not only in food and fuel. now, the air lift went on for over a year, but the soviet union eventually backed down and access to berlin. this exhibit is about truman's decision to recognize the state june of 1948.
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coming out of world war ii, many displaced persons throughout europe and, holocaust had devastated the jews in europe. a particular interest in trying to help the of the holocaust. many of them tried to get to palestine. the british had tried to keep them from getting into palestine. the british made notice had done in if greece and turkey, there would come a point where they would do the financial aid that they had been doing. so that date was mid-may of 1948. so at that point, truman knew that a decision had to be made whether or not he would recognize the proposed state of was being proposed by the jewish community. and this led to the most debate within his own
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administration. he had advisories on both sides issues. of those who opposed it, the person truman respected the most marshall. and of those who supported the idea of recognizing israel, advice of awed the domestic advisor, clark clifford. themately, it came down to day. and truman decided to recognize the state of israel. with this little press release here. press very simple little release. in which he states that he of israel.the state and it's dated may 14, 1948. bottom, you'll note it says 6:11. int's the time of day washington. that's 11 minutes after israel was actually founded. thehe united states became first nation to recognize israel. reaction at the time in the was prettyes favorable to the decision, although, of course, it remains news today, you know, you
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read your daily newspapers and you know that the issue has not gone away, that there are still tensions, great tensions in the middle east. so like many of truman's decisions he made at the time, a lot of those decisions still affect us today. and israel, the recognition of biggest. one of the >> the decisive battle has arrived. are going to have to choose one side or the other. the democratic party and i have nothing to conceal. >> in 1948, truman had decided asrun for a second term president. he was trailing very, very badly in the polls. a lot ofceiving criticism. in 1946, what had been a congress had been replaced with a republican congress. battlean faced an uphill in his 1948 presidential election campaign. whistleed to make it a
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stop tour. and we saw the pictures of he and margaret standing on the back of the train. ofs is a reproduction ferdinand magellan which is a he rode over most of the country. we have a map of his campaigns. a number of different train trips across the country. what really stands out are two country that he really did not visit. one is the south. logicale's a really explanation for this. in those days, the south was solidly democratic block. ofre was no fear on the part truman staff that he would lose the south to his republican rival, thomas dewy. the other area is the upper midwest, which was pretty much simply because it had very few electoral votes. stop, trumantle would do the same pattern. he had a four-part speech or a
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talk. first part was thank youing his -- thanking his local inviting him, then recognizing a local dignitary there. the second part was that he would talk about the great accomplishments that had been democratic administrations from franklin roosevelt through harry truman. he would part was attack not his republican dewey, but thes republican "do nothing" congress. ran against congress. and he said that they would, if they were allowed to go on, they take away all of the benefits that the democrats had brought people over the years. finally, if beth and margaret were with him on the i'dn, he would say, and now like to introduce the boss, and beth would come out. he'd say,t was there, and i'd like to introduce the boss's boss, and margaret would and they'd wave. then he'd move on to the next whistle stop. everybody's surprise,
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truman wins the election in 1948. shot ofe's the famous him at the train station in st. louis where he holds up a chicago tribune, which had been printed earlier thatiddle classily said dewey had won the election. that became one of the most famous photos of the whole administration. we do have a copy of that newspaper on display in the case the photograph. truman now has been elected in his own right, he not only but he broughtn, with him the democratic congress. so the democratic president, trumantic congress, feels he has to ability to pass significant legislation. >> in the coming year, our for peace and freedom will emphasize four major courses of action. >> so he proposes what's been called the fair deal. series ofle domesticve proposals,
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proposals, that truman had issued. hishe made his speech in inaugural speech. it had a whole number of planks on it. discovered was it's harder to actually pass legislation than he thought, even with a democratic congress. so the blue areas up here are things that he was able to get through congress. but you can see, all the red for some of his proposals that did not pass congress. this is a map of asia. it's actually an inverted globe asia. and this is another one of the unintended things that truman after his election in 1948. in addition to the fair deal, suddenly during his second term, of hotecame a number spots in asia. during his first term, he had mostly on europe, you trumanhe marshall plan, doctrine. but in the beginning of 1949, truman's second term, there were in asia thatlaces
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started causing problems. one was the communist forces in china were overwhelming the nationalist forces. thato it became inevitable the communists would take over china. of the was in all southeast asia, the colonial governments, pre-world war ii colonial governments were collapsing. so there were a number of nationalist movements going on in southeast asia. thatfinally, the big issue truman felt faced during the second term was the korean war the koreanout on peninsula. so this part of the exhibit we calling 10 faithful months. it's really the 10 months after was inaugurated for his second term. china is going to the communists. also, the soviet union exploded their own atomic bomb. and so suddenly the united states is not the only nation bomb.tomic
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but the soviet union has one as well. to supportes truman the development of a hydrogen bomb. the cold war between the soviet union and the united states is really ramping up. ramifications of that are both international and domestic. front,he domestic there's a real push mostly by also byans but democrats to root out communists in the american government. once it was discovered that stolenere spies that had atomic secrets, then people other very suspicious of government employees. bothear of communism was domestic and international. over on the side over here, we number of posters and booklets, anti-communist booklets. there were movies, anti-communist movies. information about building bomb
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shelters. and a general fear that the infiltrated byas communists. as a result of that, there was a document developed called nsc-68. it was a document that basically called for all-out anti-communist efforts on behalf the united states government. really ramping up funding for military. for -- also for espionage and so forth. of the n.f.c.copy report. truman was very skeptical of this when it first came out. but as we see, as the korean war gradually, truman comes around to exploring the further exploration of the provisions. it could be called the point at which the military industrial began. it's sort of the underpinnings of what became the military industrial complex.
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the real hot point in truman's second term was the korean war. when, in late june 1950, north suddenly crossed the 38th parallel into south korea. truman was here at his home and he got a call that that had happened. he immediately flew back to washington so they could have aboutgs about what to do the north korean invasion of south korea. truman'sconcern on part was, who was actually behind this invasion? rogue leader of north korea who decided to launch an attack on south korea? or was he being backed by the soviet union and/or china? fear was if we got too involved in it, it could trigger world war iii, sort of the same situation he had in crisis.ith the berlin but he ultimately decided to
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forces whomerican no, ane stationed in japan as occupation force, he authorized them to go to korea to help stop invasion.korean and one of the interesting is one of his diary entries, dated june 30, 1950. that frank pace, the army secretary, had called him. general macarthur, wo was the commander in asia, for ground troops to be sent in to korea. and ultimately, truman authorized that. but he, in the process, he did a lot of his thinking in these diary entries that he would write out. so in this one, he talks about through to he went decide to authorize sending american troops to korea. he also wanted to make it a united nations effort. to enlistd nationalist chinese forces, australia, canada,
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and a number of other nations in the effort. eventually did become a united nations force in korea, although the americans provided the number of military troops. truman always said that the commit america's forces to south korea was the most difficult decision he made as president. and the reason for that was this whole question about whether, war iii?start worl world troops had just come back from the second world war i just five years earlier. america is tired at being at war. would americans support it? would it lead to a wider engagement against china? these are a lot of the tough with.ons he was wrestling for those reasons, he thought it was the most difficult decision he made as president. there never has been an actual peace treaty at the end of the war. on an armistice that was signed in july of 1953. forces are, the two
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still at war. they just have an armistice in place. wasfter the inauguration over, which was consummated by the chief justice of the united states, i immediately went back, out to thear, rode house where we had a wonderful luncheon. down to thet station to leave town. and you never saw such a turnout, at that station. police,stimated, by the that there were 9,000 people there. >> when truman decided not to as for another term president, he and beth happily came back to independence and they into the house that had shared since they were married in 1919. former president end up doing? truman was still healthy. not have a really secure future. he wasn't sure what he was going to do. he wast he did know was very clear about separating from harryn the man
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truman the president. and so when he came back to independence, he literally become part of the home.ity again, to return as a child he had read about a man who had gone to war and done public service and then went back to farming. he learned his lessons from george washington, who had his toe, went off to war, then lead the country, then went back home. this is what harry truman wanted to do. back toe came independence and really desired typicalou know, just a person, a citizen of independence. we hope that when visitors come they actually learn several things. number one, it goes back to that that we sawere sign earlier. the whole idea of taking responsibility for your decisions, making decisions but then staying with them, living with them, not passing the buck to someone else. the other is the idea of public service.
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americans owe something to their country, and they shouldn't expect to get paid back for it. it should be part of their public service to their community, whether it's local, state, national, whatever. the other thing is just learning. harry truman was a voracious he wanted to encourage people to read. we hope the exhibits here tell the iceberg tip of about truman and his decisions. but what we really want people more is go home and read about their history, read more about the presidency, read more about the american government. >> our cities tour staff traveled to independence, missouri to learn its rich history. learn more about independence and other stops on our tour at www.c-span.org/citiestour. you are watching american history tv, all wee

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